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FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace

News/Business. (2011) Guests Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy; Sen. Rand Paul; Rep. Jim Jordan. (CC) (Stereo)

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01:00:00

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Annapolis, MD, USA

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mpeg2video

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mp2

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720

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

U.s. 23, Libya 10, Yemen 6, Bahrain 6, Qaddafi 6, United States 5, Us 5, Tepco 4, Mullen 3, America 3, Graham 2, Orbitz 2, Greg Palkot 2, Barack Obama 2, Butler 2, Brazil 2, New York 2, Lindsey 1, Bill Kristol 1, Andrew Cuomo 1,
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  FOX News    FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace    News/Business.  (2011) Guests Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary  
   of Energy; Sen. Rand Paul; Rep. Jim Jordan. (CC) (Stereo)  

    March 21, 2011
    2:00 - 3:00am EDT  

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is on the war powers act, like all of his predecessors, and, that gives us the opportunity to review what he has done and, like lindsey, if there is a proposal coming before the congress, then i would have no difficulty in supporting the actions. >> chris: a minute left. and, we are taking the action, ostensibly, to prevent qaddafi from brutally repressing and killing his civilians, protesters in his country. meanwhile our allies in yemen and in bahrain have been doing the same, protesters in their country, in fact, 47 were killed by the government, in yemen on
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friday. question, you each have 30 second, senator graham should we intervene in those countries? they are our allies. should we intervene. >> we should push back against using live ammunition against people who are protesting and the deterioration in the middle east is because of indecisive leadership and the people in yemen and bahrain don't believe there is a downside of shooting their own people because we let muammar qaddafi come back and if we deal with him decisively we have better leverage in bahrain and yemen and and if we don't, all hell is going to break loose in the middle east, because nobody will follow a weak america. >> unlike libya we have constant communication with the leadership in yemen and bahrain and secretary gates was in bahrain and making it clear to the king there, and our diplomats in yemen, making clear to president saleh, that they have to respect the rights o people, and have to allow peaceful protests and cannot use
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violence to suppress the legitimate concerns of the people, that is the message we have to send and we are sending it. >> chris: senators, thank you very much for coming in and what aing in on the fast-moving story. thank you, senators. up next, japan battles a nuclear melt down, what does it mean for the u.s.? answers from the secretary of energy. when we come right back. where to go for a quiet getway. [ male announcer ] thanks to the orbitz matrix display, you can make more knowledgeable decisions en booking vacation packages. ♪ see all your hotel and flight options and savings for the ideal vacation. perfect. [ male announcer ] when you orbitz, you know.
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>> chris: now the crisis in japan, where the country is still struggle, to get a nuclear power plant under control. here's the latest. authorities now say once the emergency is resolved the entire complex will be scrapped. power has been restored at the nuclear plant, but they have not yet tried to turn on cooling systems, at the most damaged reactors. in tokyo, radioactive iodine has been detected in drinking water and food from some farms, now
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shows increased radiation levels. greg palkot is tracking the story from osaka. greg? >> chris, mixed news on several fronts of the story, authorities spent the weekend dousing with water the two most dangerous nuclear reactors, trying to cool them down and trying to bring radioactivity levels down, and there was a spike in gas, and one of the reactors and they are keeping an eye on that and there is electricity hooked up to yet another reactor and the folks want to turn the coolant pumps on in the reactor and that has not happened yet and shoppers here sunday reacting wear really to the news that radioactive iodine or traces of the stuff have been found in milk and spinach, coming from the affected area, though smaller traces in the water, no health risk is implied behind that, according to authorities but they are deciding what to do on that in the next 24 hours, finally, the relief and rescue efforts continue following the quake and tsunami, and a remarkable story on sunday. found amid the rubble an
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80-year-old woman, and her 16-year-old grandson. discovered alive after 9 days, and considering all of that time, in the rubble, there, in fritt good shape, still, the death toll, and missing 20,000 and climbing and the number, chris, expected to go up in the coming days. back to you. >> chris: greg palkot, thanks for that. joining us now, secretary of energy, steven chu and, mr. secretary, welcome to fox news sunday. >> thanks. >> chris: what is the latest from japan? how are officials there doing in cooling the reactors, and the pools of spent fuel. >> they are using fire trucks to spray the spent fuel pools, they are looking at the reactors -- power is being restored and we expect that perhaps today they can try the standard pumps in the reactors. >> chris: are you hopeful? how would you characterize the situation? >> i think with each passing hour, each passing day, seems to
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be more under control, and, so, we step-by-step, they are making very good progress. >> chris: i don't want to minimize the threat but are we overstating -- and by "we" i think the media, primarily, overstating the danger from radiation, especially in the u.s., but, even in japan, more americans die from air pollution in this country, each year, than all of the people that were killed from chernobyl and, the radiation levels in japan are nothing like that. so, are we overstating the danger? >> i think you make a good point. the people in the u.s., u.s. territories, are in no danger. it is unlikely they will be exposed to danger. there is concern about u.s. citizens in japan and we are monitoring the situation very closely. but, we'll see what comes and, as i said, day by day, hour by hour, the focus is on mitigation, of the issue. >> chris: there are reports, that tepco, the company that owns the property, delayed in
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taking steps to control the crisis, such as using sea water, because it didn't want to destroy its property. first of all, is that true? and, secondly, should tepco simply bury the reactors in sand and cement as the russian did in chernobyl? would that solve the problem. >> first, i don't know the exact chronology but my understanding was, tepco, soon after, began to use sea water to cool the reactor and that was the right decision. and, you are quite right, once you use sea water the reactors are not recover can be babrecov >> chris: is there any indication, tepco, delayed some action because it was trying to protect its investment. >> i have no indication of that and going beyond that, i think what the russians did, is -- it appears unlikely that you would need those scenarios, there are partial melt downs in the three
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reactors and may be a containment leak in one of them but far less stress, it could be brought under control and minimize the contamination. >> chris: this week, germany, ordered that its 7 oldest nuclear reactors be shut down. pending' three month review. why is that not being done in this country? >> the nrc has a deliberative process what to do about the reactors, and the german, i believe the german order was, to review the life extension of those reactors. and i'm not sure about the shut down but, the erc is an argue zoi -- organization that will be reviewing closely. >> chris: we seem to disagree, our reporting is they called for shutting down the 7 oldest plants. they are taking more drastic actions than the u.s., are they overreacting? or are we under reacting? >> i can't speak to the germans.
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if they did order a shut down of those reactors, i don't -- can't speak to that directly but the nrc is looking at all of the reactors and they have -- are a very prudent agency and we'll see what they do. >> chris: let's look at the situation in the country. there are now 104 nuclear power plants in the u.s., the last metropolitan for construction of what -- permit for construction of a fully functional nuclear power plant was in 1978 and 23 of the u.s. reactors -- i couldn't read my own writing here -- use understand the same mark-1 design as the plan in japan and critics question the safety of that plant. of those reactors, and the pools for spent fuel on top. question, do you have full confidence in all of our reactors, and, is it possible that the long moratorium on
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building new reactors has saddled the u.s. with out of date technology? >> well, it is true that 23 of the reactors now are operating the -- in the u.s. are of that design and since those reactors were built there were upgrades in this -- the safety of those reactors. and, that is a process, the nrc continues to do and there are additional safety measures taken over the years, and with this action in japan there will be a thorough review going forward about all of the reactors in the u.s. >> chris: do you think it is possible -- it is amazing there isn't a single fully constructed planted in this country the permit was issued since 1978. do you think in fact the long moratorium after three mile island work against us in terms of having state of the art technology in our nuclear infrastructure? >> no, quite to the contrary. the reactors are constantly being upgraded, there are knew designs that were developed, some of the newer designs,
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westing house and ge are safer than the earlier designs, and that was a mark-1 and that was a very early design and the newer reactors, being designed now -- >> chris: 23 of our reactors are mark-1s. >> again going to that point there were already safety upgrades in those reactors, and, there will continue to be in all of the existing reactors if it is warrant. >> chris: the nuclear regulatory commission has called for a 50 mile evacuation zone around the reactor in japan. but, in new york state, more than 21 million americans live that close to the indian point plant we're looking at here, which is just 34 miles from manhattan. new york's governor, andrew cuomo called for shutting down that plant. is he overreacting? >> well, i think again, the evacuation plans will be looked at, and studied in great detail. the indian point reactor is not
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in the situation like in japan, but, i think again, we will be looking at whether it is... whether those evacuation plans are adequate. >> chris: it is not -- to a certain degree, you cannot do anything about it, new york city is where it is and the plant is where it is. is it safe to have a plant, when you see what happened in plant, a huge accidental and the result was they said everybody need to get away from 50 miles, 21 million americans live within 50 miles of indian point. >> i think that that is an issue, and, again we will have to look at whether this reactor should remain but again, i don't want to make any -- jump to judgment about what we should do going forward. >> chris: are you saying the issue of whether to keep indian point in operation is in doubt? is something you will review? >> well, it is an nrc decision but the nrc will be looking at
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that, i'm sure, based on the events. but, again, this is not to say that we believe that reactor is unsafe. we believe the reactor is safe. there have been -- there is constant scrutiny of the reactors in all of our plants, around the united states. >> chris: would you, based on what happened in japan, the last week, would you build a reactor within 50 miles of 21 million americans? >> certainly where you site reactors and where we site reactors going forward will be different than where we might have sited in the past. >> chris: a game-changer. >> any time there is a serious accident, we have to learn from those accidents and go forward. >> chris: what effect do you expect the events in japan and libya to have on the price of gas at the pump this summer? >> that is hard to expect. my intuition about how the events for example in japan would affect the gas prices. libya, any uncertainty in the
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middle east -- we hope those situations will be resolved. and, the thing that the president stressed is the events in libya, have interrupted a small fraction of the world's supply, and, we have excess cavity in the world. >> chris: on the other hand, would japan -- with japan does it mean there is less demand for gas in the short-term. >> that is the way the markets reacted. but again these are things that we need to go forward, and, you know, the markets say, okay, less demand of oil in japan, therefore, i think is why the price went down, and, in the long run i have to say that we not only should look at what the price of oil is going to be doing in the next day and week, but we also have to be concerned about the price of oil, will be doing, 5, 10, 20 years from today. >> chris: in that regard, in 2008 you supported ramping up
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gas prices to coax americans into more green energy, cars and other uses, being more fuel efficient and you said this: let's put it on the screen, somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in europe, where it is now more than $10 a gallon. in that sense, is the gas spike an opportunity for more green energy? >> well, what i'm doing since i became secretary of energy has been quite clear and what i'm duke is developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices. we have been very focused as the department of energy on that and in fact the entire administration has been focused on that and the increasing of the my knowledge standards is one way of doing this, a very concerted effort, and -- electric vehicles where we think with in reach, within maybe 4 or 5 years we can be testing batteries, that can allow us to go 2, 300 miles on a single
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charge, a mass marketed -- >> i understand that and that is part of your effort but is the spike in gas prices, does it help in making us more energy efficient. >> the recent spike en gas prices following the huge spike in 200 thou2007-'08 is a remind americans, the price of gasoline over the long haul should be expected to go up because of supply and demand issues and we see this in the buying habits of meshes americans as they make choices in the next cars they choose to buy. >> chris: secretary chu thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> chris: from libya to japan to the debate over spending we'll ask our sunday regulars is the president demonstrating leadership? stay tuned.
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>> president barack obama: we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells husbais people the will be no mercy. >> chris: during the president's trip to brazil, explains why it was time to act in libya and tie now for our sunday group, brit hume -- yes, brit hume! fox news senior political analyst, mara liasson of national public radio, bill kristol of the weekly standard and fox news political analyst, juan williams. i think it is fair to say, president obama clearly changed course this week on libya, going from serious doubts about military involvement to pushing in the en for td for the use of, was he skillful in bringing about the coalition in which the u.s. is not in the lead. >> i don't know, i have been
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following it as closely as i can and it is hard to tell. it wasn't american leadership. i mean, clearly other countries were calling for action, and prepared to take action, before the united states was. i think that, you know, the atmosphere changed when the arab league came out and called another imposition of the no-fly zone and we have not seen much of that kind of thing from the arab league before. it happened and the u.n. seemed prepared to act at which point the president decided he'd like to participate and i think it the question is, will the military steps being taken by the u.s. and its allies be sufficient and if not will we look back on this and say, had the president been prepared to go sooner, with or without all of these allies, the tide of the conflict might have been turned and if it comes out badly and qaddafi prevails in spite of this, that i think is the question we will not know for the answer for a while and hope the military measures are effective and qaddafi is a certain final coward.
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-- certa >> the arab league is on board and the u.s. is following the british and the french, and we shaped this battlefield in the first 24 hours. is that smart. >> the white house thinks it is and as you said, we shamed the battlefield and u.s. forces are in charge now and the president doesn't seem like he's leading the charge and that is a different model of presidential leadership -- and i think it is intentional. the president has a vision of u.s. leadership in the world that acts in a multi-lateral way, night unilateral way and also has good reasons in the particular region not to be out in front -- as a matter of fact i think that the united states is taking more leadership than the president and the secretary of state are actually claiming to be. in other words, i think they are down playing what the united states is really doing, we are unpopular in the middle east and this is the third war we are getting involved with, third
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shooting war and i think that president obama wants to be extremely careful so america doesn't become the kind of target, reason, crusader for this, it is absolutely on purpose. >> chris: bill, let's talk about the mission. you heard, earlier in the show, admiral mullen say his orders are clear, protect the civilians, don't overthrow qaddafi, that is not the point. and can we live with qaddafi in any sort of power and create a lot of trouble. >> no, we can't and won't leave him in power, the immediate military mission, admiral mullen described the political role is to remove him and military as -- >> how do we get from here to there. >> we protect -- he hasnwe help remove him, indirectly, though i would not, like the president, rule noout going in with
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peace-keeping forces, and, we end up sending in peace-keeping forces. we did that in kosovo and got rid of milosevic. we need to get rid of qaddafi and i think we were slow in doing what we had to do but we have to be effective and we'll see if it is sufficient. we can't, i think -- a hope the obama administration is not taking the position, we hope it works out. we have u.s. forces committed and we can rhetorically pretend we are following, not leading but we need scheduto succeed. >> the president said tuesday after the highly controversial meeting at the white house, senator graham said the ladies of the obama administration who said clearly it was time to take -- get involved in military action and i thought you heard in your interview with admiral mullen the military is described -- the fact is, secretary of defense gates, the republican, and conservative, was one who
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said, it is a difficult mission for the military and, we don't want to get involved in a third war and, what you have is a situation where the u.s. government has frozen qaddafi's assets and the u.s. government has embargoed purchasing libyan oil and this all serves to isolate qaddafi and i think limit what he can do and, it is going to expedite the fact that qaddafi is -- i don't think there is any way that he stays in power and is not about the u.s. going in there and bombing his home or anything like that. i think leave it to the arabs of the world and let them take the action and take away the way of blaming the u.s. for everything that goes wrong. >> juan put his finger in the same opponent on something that is important about the president's view of the world. to this president the presence and the site of american leads hip? an operation or intervention of this kind is a stigma. i think, his predecessors and many people in the country believe american leadership is essential and is not
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delegitimatizing in any way and, the war i have, is if the president has the viewpoint about military and other interventions, around the world, he's going to be in a position forever following and it isn't that it isn't a good idea to have allies and not even that it is not a good idea to have allies who appear to be in the lead. the problem is that when it gets down to it, and we're seeing it now, over libya, american forces are the most capable in the world even as stressed as we are. we're hearing today america will soon turn over the command and control operations to other forces. well, why do we have it in the first place? because of our capability. there is so much -- if we are hesitant because we fear american leadership is ugly in the world it will be a problem for a long time to come. >> chris: but, mara, with the u.s. already involved in two wars, is it a bad thing to have this attack announced by
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nicholas sarkozy and david cameron, the british prime minister and the french president, is it so bad for us to be -- >> i don't think so. look, i can tell you the white house thinks absolutely not. it is okay if other people are out there, waving the flag and we're actually doing the real substantive work of making it happen and don't forget, this is a complicate situation and not just libya, there is tunisia and egypt, where the president some say worked too solely and bahrain, tear gas can teristers all over the ground, and they say u.s.a. on the side of them and we are not willing to be as forceful in favor of the protesters and see that as a sectarian struggle there but this is complicated and in the end, if qaddafi is gone the president will look like he exercised strong leadership. >> chris: i want to switch it a
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little bit on this. there is a the lot of criticism of the president, he failed to show leadership, whether on libya or japan or even the budget deal. and there is also the optics of it. continuing with the trip to brazil. while u.s. forces go into war, playing golf while japan's story broke and he also took time to go on tv, to announce his n.c.a.a. brackets. latter watch. >> have you had any chance to see byu. >> president barack obama: unbelievable. best scorer obviously in the country, great talent, but, they've lost their inside presence... >> chris: has as a bigger issue, the president failed to show leadership, or at the least has he been tone deaf that's problems stack up. >> butler defeated pitt last night and blew up the president's bracket! not to mention all of us. that was good. i wouldn't have advised him to be quite as you know -- spend quite as much time on his bracket picks over the past week
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and at the end of the day with his policies -- there is not much he could have been doing about japan and libya he was too slow and we paid a price for that and libyans were killed and qaddafi strengthening himself and now, he needs to be sure he goes and if he does people will forget he was on tv talking about his brackets and maybe will forget he was a big booster of pitt's chances. and under rated, the fine little school indianapolis, butler! knock off the big giant! >> i tell you where i think the conservative argument that he is dithering and passive has some traction, which is on the budget issue, and you saw the senators, bipartisan group of senators here in washington -- >> 64 senators, 32 republicans, 32 democrats. >> correct. send a letter saying, it is time for you to exercise leadership and you have had the deficit commission, you are the president of the united states, but the president looks to be sort of -- >> dithering, i love it when
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juan says the president is dithering! >> i don't think the letter used the word leadership. >> they wanted him to be involved and take' stand and it looks like now, he's a poker player, holding his chips. >> that is exactly why -- by design. >> chris: that seems to be a conscious policy on the part of the white house. >> this is who is running the white house, to say, you know, we're about getting reelected and he should be showing leadership and the libya and yap thing, i think he's fine. >> on the budgets, the white house, they say they have a plan, there's a timetable for this and the president will get involved, not just yet. >> chris: not just yet. he'll be patient. thank you, panel. see you next week. don't forget to check out panel plus where our group picks up with the discussion on our web site, foxnewssunday.com and we'll post the video before noon eastern time, up next, we hear from you.
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>> several old reactors equivalent to the buildings and two were hit lie airplanes on 9/11, and tj from seattle, the safety of nuclear plants, are we arrogant enough that we could do what the japanese could not?